The Best of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

When you need a dose of sunshine, there are few destinations easier to reach than Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Here you’ll also find fantastic snorkeling, underground rivers, ancient Mayan sites, and captivating colonial cities. Kristen Korey Pike, the founder of KK Travels Worldwide, has created an itinerary for AFAR Journeys that includes the highlights of the region, with plenty of time to spend on the beach as well.

Carretera Federal 180 Km. 120
A brilliant work of architecture and astronomy, the Pyramid of Kukulkán at Chichén Itzá is so precisely engineered that on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the sun casts shadows that slither like snakes and seem to descend the structure’s stairways. Said to represent the plumed-serpent deity Kukulkán, the shadows return to earth twice yearly to drink from sacred sinkholes known as cenotes. Today the phenomenon attracts thousands to the already crowded archaeological site, but almost-identical light-play can be seen the day before, alongside a mere fraction of the visitors.
Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Isla Holbox sits at the point where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean, creating a unique environment renowned for its biodiversity. Manta rays, dolphins, and sea turtles can be found swimming in the waters off of the island while if you visit between June and September, you can join an excursion swimming with the whale sharks that spend their summers here. These gentle giants are the world’s largest fish and while they are sharks, these plankton feeders present no threat to humans. It’s an unforgettable day swimming with some of the most majestic animals in the sea. The itinerary to the Yucatan Peninsula created by Kristen Korey Pike of KK Travels Worldwide includes two days on Isla Holbox. Check out her itinerary and others created by the members of the AFAR Travel Advisory Council at AFAR Journeys.
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